With still no sign of any Russian gas getting through to European countries in desperate need of supplies, new talks in Moscow have been arranged.
The Kremlin says the Russian and Ukrainian Prime Ministers will meet on Saturday to discuss how to break the impasse in their dispute over pricing. An EU-brokered deal was supposed to get European deliveries restarted via Ukraine on Tuesday but nothing came into the pipes in the 18 countries affected. Both Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for the deadlock, but Brussels warned that legal action could be taken against both countries. Commentators say Moscow and Kiev’s reputations as reliable energy providers have been severely damaged. They say EU countries will now be speeding up their plans to reduce their reliance on Russian gas that comes though Ukraine. The leaders in Slovakia, Bulgaria and Moldova are among those appealing for an urgent solution, with alternative heating sources unable to cope with the extra demand.